Sunday, Oct 01, 2023 | Last Update : 05:44 PM IST
The line between real and reel-life was often blurred between Ankita Lokhande and late Sushant Singh Rajput's characters 'Archana' and 'Manav' when the TV series 'Pavitra Rishta' started airing in 2009. The show went off air in 2014 and leading man Sushant shockingly passed away last year on June 14.Â
As the new season of the show 'Pavitra Rishta 2.0' is all set to release, Ankita, the actress, girlfriend and co-actor of Sushant, says she is trying to keep the memory of Sushant alive through the show and she believes that Sushant must be feeling proud of her.
Ankita told IANS: "What our fans saw between 'Manav' and 'Archana' was love, and love is magical. Perhaps that is why the chemistry between the two characters looked so magical. When I and Sushant started working for the show, everything was created in a very organic way, you cannot forcefully create magic that the audience saw between me and Sushant. It was love, pure love.
"When I went back to set for the shooting of the new season of the show, thousands of things crossing my mind. I have been living with 'Pavitra Rishta' and all its memories for the last 12 years. This time, when I went back to set, knowing Sushant is not there with me, it really is hard to explain how I felt. I doubt if anyone would understand what my state of mind is...and I will never be able to explain it in words ever."
Ankita then broke down in tears.
She continues, "But I always think that Sushant is watching all of us, the way we are creating the show and I know Sushant is absolutely proud of me. Sushant created 'Manav' and I am trying to keep his legacy alive through the show. Look, nobody can replace Sushant or his presence in 'Manav' the way he brought life to that character.
"I am sure the chemistry I shared with Sushant, can never be shared with anyone, but we can create another 'Manav', right? When I and Sushant started working we did not know how our on-screen 'jodi' would be accepted, but it happened. I hope, the same happens in the new season because Shaheer is also a good actor and he is also putting in his hard work."
The new season of 'Pavitra Rishta 2.0' will release on September 15 on ZEE5. In the new season, the character of 'Manav' will be played by Shaheer Sheikh.
Last year, after the sudden death of Sushant, the insensitive media coverage, media trial, constant trolling on social media and an unwanted toxic environment affected everyone associated with Sushant including Ankita as she was also trolled on social media.
Asked now when she looks back, how she explains the whole situation, Ankita replied, "When I go back to those old episodes, watch myself and Sushant together, of course I go through a lot of emotions, ups and downs, the feeling of love is still there and it will remain forever. I still break down every now and then but I know I also have to grow with the experience and thank God for at least giving me the opportunity to live the life I am living, and create memories with him."
"You know, Sushant's demise was almost like a personal loss for even those who never knew Sushant personally, 'Wo tha hi itna pyaara...'(He was so sweet) now imagine how tough it is for those to accept that he is no more, who lived with him and have beautiful memories with him. It is too painful for me to talk as I cannot hold my tears anymore," she signed off.
(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)